A card’s read speed describes how fast data can be retrieved from a card. This performance is seen when transferring card contents to computers and printers for example. A faster read speed will transfer images to your computer more rapidly also (depending on how the SD card is wired up to the computer, as a direct connection vs USB 2 vs FireWire 800 vs USB 3 will make a significant difference also, as will, potentially, your hard disk or SSD storage memory speed).
Nintendo learned from its experiences – both positive and negative – with the Nintendo 64’s three-handled controller design and went with a two-handled, “handlebar” design for the GameCube. The shape was made popular by Sony’s PlayStation controller released in 1994 and its follow-up DualShock series of gamepads introduced in 1997. In addition to vibration feedback, the DualShock series was well known for having two analog sticks to improve the 3D experience in games. Nintendo and Microsoft designed similar features in the controllers for their sixth-generation consoles, but instead of having the analog sticks parallel to each other, they chose to stagger them by swapping the positions of the directional pad (d-pad) and left analog stick. The GameCube controller features a total of eight buttons, two analog sticks, a d-pad, and an internal rumble motor. The primary analog stick is on the left with the d-pad located below and closer to the center. On the right are four buttons: a large, green “A” button in the center, a smaller red “B” button to the left, an “X” button to the right, and a “Y” button at the top. Below and to the inside is a yellow “C” analog stick, which often serves a variety of in-game functions, such as controlling the camera angle. The Start/Pause button is located in the middle, and the rumble motor is encased within the center of the controller.
Four-bit SD bus mode: Uses extra pins plus some reassigned pins. This is the same protocol as the one-bit SD bus mode which uses one command and four data lines for faster data transfer. All SD cards support this mode. UHS-I and UHS-II require this bus type.
When things get a bit more serious, enthusiasts and professionals need to look for the speed of a card, as most DSLRs can produce large Raw files, shoot HD video or capture multiple shots in a single burst, the data streaming through the camera’s buffer will need to be met by a card at the end that can ‘match up’ to its specification to receive all the information. (See below for how to work out the speeds of a card.)
Reformatting an SD card with a different file system, or even with the same one, may make the card slower, or shorten its lifespan. Some cards use wear leveling, in which frequently modified blocks are mapped to different portions of memory at different times, and some wear-leveling algorithms are designed for the access patterns typical of FAT12, FAT16 or FAT32. In addition, the preformatted file system may use a cluster size that matches the erase region of the physical memory on the card; reformatting may change the cluster size and make writes less efficient.
In our SD card test, the Unitek had read and write speeds of 92 MB/s and 85 MB/s respectively, which is about what we expect for our test SD card on a UHS-I connection. When reading and writing to the microSD card, it had speeds of 92 MB/s and 70 MB/s, and in our CF card test, the Unitek had read and write speeds of 154 MB/s and 144 MB/s, respectively. (These speeds also matched our expectations.) It can also read two cards simultaneously, although we noticed a significant drop in performance: Running an SD and a microSD card at the same time gave us read and write speeds of 59 MB/s and 49 MB/s, respectively. But otherwise the Unitek worked as it should, which isn’t something we can say about many of the card readers we tested.
The GameCube launched in Japan on September 14, 2001. Approximately 500,000 units were shipped in time to retailers. The console was scheduled to launch two months later in North America on November 5, 2001, but the date was pushed back in an effort to increase the number of available units. The console eventually launched in North America on November 18, 2001, with over 700,000 units shipped to the region. Other regions followed suit the following year beginning with Europe in the second quarter of 2002.
The method used to read NAND flash memory can cause nearby cells in the same memory block to change over time (become programmed). This is known as read disturb. The threshold number of reads is generally in the hundreds of thousands of reads between intervening erase operations. If reading continually from one cell, that cell will not fail but rather one of the surrounding cells on a subsequent read. To avoid the read disturb problem the flash controller will typically count the total number of reads to a block since the last erase. When the count exceeds a target limit, the affected block is copied over to a new block, erased, then released to the block pool. The original block is as good as new after the erase. If the flash controller does not intervene in time, however, a read disturb error will occur with possible data loss if the errors are too numerous to correct with an error-correcting code.
The GameCube features two memory card ports for saving game data. Nintendo released three official memory card options: Memory Card 59 in gray (512 KB), Memory Card 251 in black (2 MB), and Memory Card 1019 in white (8 MB). (Though often advertised in Megabits, as 4 Mb, 16 Mb, and 64 Mb respectively.) A few games were known to have compatibility issues with the Memory Card 1019, and at least two games have save issues with any size. Memory cards with larger capacities were released by third-party manufacturers.
The standard was introduced in August 1999 by joint efforts between SanDisk, Panasonic (Matsushita Electric) and Toshiba as an improvement over MultiMediaCards (MMC), and has become the industry standard. The three companies formed SD-3C, LLC, a company that licenses and enforces intellectual property rights associated with SD memory cards and SD host and ancillary products.
With the GameCube, Nintendo aimed to reverse the trend as evidenced by the number of third-party games available at launch – the N64 had none. The new optical disc format introduced with the GameCube increased the capacity significantly and reduced production costs. For the most part, the strategy worked. High-profile exclusives such as Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader from Factor 5, Resident Evil 4 from Capcom, and Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes from Konami were very successful. Sega, which focused on third-party development following the demise of its Dreamcast console, offered a vast amount of support for the GameCube porting old favorites over such as Crazy Taxi and Sonic Adventure 2. The company also started new franchises on the GameCube including Super Monkey Ball. Several third-party developers were contracted to work on new games for existing Nintendo franchises, including Star Fox Assault by Namco and Wario World from Treasure.
Reading from NOR flash is similar to reading from random-access memory, provided the address and data bus are mapped correctly. Because of this, most microprocessors can use NOR flash memory as execute in place (XIP) memory, meaning that programs stored in NOR flash can be executed directly from the NOR flash without needing to be copied into RAM first. NOR flash may be programmed in a random-access manner similar to reading. Programming changes bits from a logical one to a zero. Bits that are already zero are left unchanged. Erasure must happen a block at a time, and resets all the bits in the erased block back to one. Typical block sizes are 64, 128, or 256 KiB.
MiniSD cards, the least frequently used format these days, measure 21.5 by 20 by 1.4 mm (HWD) and weigh just a gram, making them just over a third the volume and taking up just over half the area of a full-size SD card. Instead of cut corners, miniSD cards have a tapered corner to help you orient the card when putting it in a slot. This design aspect follows with the smallest of the SD cards, the microSD card.
Generally, if you want to shoot HD video or if you plan on taking a lot of high-resolution photos in quick succession (or use a digital SLR’s RAW image file format), buy a Class 10 card. If you’re planning to just take snapshots or occasionally show videos, Class 4 or Class 6 will do. Since even smartphones can record HD video these days, Class 2 cards aren’t the best choice. They’re simply too slow to record HD video, so you’re limiting your device’s features. The price difference between Class 4, Class 6, and Class 10 cards can vary, but not vastly. At the time of this writing, on Newegg.com, 32GB SDHC cards made by Kingston Technology were available in Class 4 for $54, Class 6 for $66, and $73 for Class 10. UHS-1 cards are much, much more expensive than the other cards; Kingston was offering a 32 GB UHS-1 SD card for $293, and that was on sale. Unless you’re a professional who needs absolute certainty in speed when dealing with very large images or high-bitrate video, you don’t need UHS-1. In fact, unless you have professional or semi-professional equipment, you probably won’t even be able to use these cards. Always check your device’s documentation for support information before you commit to a memory card.
Jump up ^ Kim, Kinam; Koh, Gwan-Hyeob (16 May 2004). Future Memory Technology including Emerging New Memories (PDF). Serbia and Montenegro: Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on Microelectronics. pp. 377–384. Retrieved 2008-08-15.
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In April 2006, the SDA released a detailed specification for the non-security related parts of the SD memory card standard and for the Secure Digital Input Output (SDIO) cards and the standard SD host controller.
The Video Speed Classes defined by the SD Association are V6, 10,30,60 and 90. V6 and V10 can be applied to High Speed and UHS Bus IF product family. V30 can be applied to UHS Bus IF product family. V60 and V90 can be applied to UHS-II / UHS-III product family.
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In NOR flash, each cell has one end connected directly to ground, and the other end connected directly to a bit line. This arrangement is called “NOR flash” because it acts like a NOR gate: when one of the word lines (connected to the cell’s CG) is brought high, the corresponding storage transistor acts to pull the output bit line low. NOR flash continues to be the technology of choice for embedded applications requiring a discrete non-volatile memory device. The low read latencies characteristic of NOR devices allow for both direct code execution and data storage in a single memory product.
Nintendo sold 22 million GameCube units worldwide during its lifespan, placing it slightly behind the Xbox’s 24 million, and well behind the PlayStation 2’s 153 million. The GameCube’s predecessor, the Nintendo 64, outperformed it as well selling nearly 33 million units. The console was able to outsell the short-lived Dreamcast, however, which yielded 9.13 million unit sales. In September 2009, IGN ranked the GameCube 16th in its list of best gaming consoles of all time, placing it behind all three of its sixth-generation competitors: the PlayStation 2 (3rd), the Dreamcast (8th), and the Xbox (11th). As of March 31, 2003, the GameCube had sold 9.55 million units worldwide, falling short of Nintendo’s initial goal of 10 million consoles.
Pre-loaded content – In 2006, SanDisk announced Gruvi, a microSD card with extra digital rights management features, which they intended as a medium for publishing content. SanDisk again announced pre-loaded cards in 2008, under the slotMusic name, this time not using any of the DRM capabilities of the SD card. In 2011, SanDisk offered various collections of 1000 songs on a single slotMusic card for about $40, now restricted to compatible devices and without the ability to copy the files.
Jump up ^ Tal, Arie (February 2002). “NAND vs. NOR flash technology: The designer should weigh the options when using flash memory”. Archived from the original on 28 July 2010. Retrieved 31 July 2010.
Write speed is how fast images can be saved onto a memory card. This is a critical need, especially if your camera takes high-resolution images, burst pictures or HD video. If you have a slower memory card, you may have to wait for the memory card to finish writing before you can take additional shots, which could cause you to miss the perfect photo. If your card is too slow to properly handle video, it may cause dropped frames, inferior quality, or stop recording altogether. So if you’re doing sports photography, or taking video, make sure to look for a higher write speed.
SDHC card: This card has the same form factor as an SD card, with specifications that define SDHC card capacities from 4 GB to 32 GB. These devices were developed to tackle high-definition video and high-resolution images. Although SD cards will work in an SDHC device, an SDHC card will not function in an SD card-based digital camera or card reader.